Friday, 13 April 2012
“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matthew 5:44 NLV)
“…love your enemies!”
It sounds so simple, however, for me this has been one of the most difficult teachings of Christ to act upon in my life. I have often heard that forgiving those who have wronged you is not necessarily for their benefit, but for yours, so that we do not tread this earth with heavy limbs and a heavy heart. But He does not just say to forgive them, He says to love them.
There were no exceptions to this teaching. Jesus did not say, “Love your enemies unless they have stolen from you,” or “unless they have deeply offended you”. He simply tells us to love our enemies; whether they are enemies of our hearts, our pockets, our nations, our races, or our beliefs.
I always wondered what type of “love” we were to feel toward our enemies. Certainly not the type of love we feel for our spouses, or our children, or our mothers and fathers, right? Or perhaps this simply means feeling an absence of abhorrence towards our enemies.
I feel that the sort of love we are to have toward our enemies is the type of love we should feel for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ; that no matter what they have done to offend us, they are still, before anything else, His children.
What is your take on this teaching? When have you had to love one of your enemies? What does that look like, and how does one do that?